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Is it polite to ask people what they got?

  • No, It is not polite to ask.

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  • There is nothing wrong with asking.

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  • Sometimes it's ok, but not always. (Explain in post)

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  • Other (Explain in post)

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On a message board like this I guess it doesn't matter. Someone can just ignore the post if they don't want to talk about what they did or did not get. What about in the real wold when someone asks you "What did you get?" Is it impolite to ask people what they got for Christmas? Does it place too much emphasis on the commercial aspect of the holiday? Would it be better to just ask, "Did you have a nice Christmas?"<br><br><br><br>
I remember a Christmas about 10 years ago when most of my family was having financial difficulty. My elderly parents were living on Social Security. My three brothers and two sisters all had low paying jobs, and were facing cutbacks and possible layoffs. One of my sisters was going through a divorce and trying to raise two children on her own. Most of us had an unspoken agreement not to spend money on gifts we could not afford. As a single mother myself at that time, I could not afford to host a holiday dinner if I wanted to buy gifts for everyone. Instead of spending money on gifts, I spent my money on food and invited the whole family over for dinner on Christmas Day.<br><br><br><br>
We bought gifts for the young children, but not for the adults. We all had a nice dinner together and had a great time visiting and talking. We enjoyed each other's company and really did not miss the gift exchange. One of my sisters did buy a small box of candy for each of my brothers and two small candles each for my sister and I. That was the only gift I got that year, but it didn't matter. We all had a wonderful time.<br><br><br><br>
When I went back to work after the holidays, well meaning co-workers and acquaintances kept asking me, "So...What did you get?" Even though I worked with some of these people every day, most of them were not aware of my family's financial situation. It was not something that I discussed in public. It was quite embarrassing to confess that the only gift I got was two little candles that were probably purchased at the dollar store.<br><br><br><br>
Some people would go on and on about the expensive gifts they got, and when they asked me what I got, they would just give me a pitiful look when I told them. No matter how much I tried to emphasize the family gathering over the gifts, (or lack thereof) I would still get those sad looks. It made me feel ashamed.<br><br><br><br>
Not all gifts are tangible. Not all gifts can be wrapped up in pretty paper with ribbons and bows. Time spent with loved ones is surely one of the greatest gifts of all. My deepest regret that year was that I allowed the memory of a beautiful day with my family to be tainted by the materialistic questions that I felt obligated to answer.<br><br><br><br>
Ever since that year, I no longer ask people what they got for Christmas, birthdays or other gift giving holidays. Instead, I ask them if they had a nice day. If they want to tell me about a gift, that is fine. If they only want to talk about the family gathering, then the word "gift" is never mentioned.<br><br><br><br>
So what do you think? Is it polite to ask people "What did you get?" Would it be better to just say "Did you have a nice holiday?" What are your opinions?
 

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I generally ask both. "How was your Christmas?" is the first question, and if they seem to want to talk about it, I may ask what gifts they received or what the best part of the festivities were.<br><br><br><br>
You're quite right that the best things in life aren't things.
 

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I totally understand what you are saying...my husband and I no longer exchange gifts for a number of reasons. I always get asked at work 'what did you get'. I usually respond that my husband and I don't exchange gifts with no explanation. I do get presents from my three children so I throw in a few of what they gave me. For the most part, I think people are well-meaning. I never ask what people got...I just ask if they had a nice holiday as well. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> P.S....I do think it's perfectly ok to ask on a messageboard! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I don't think it is impolite to ask. I can see how it might be a bit difficult to answer if the answer would reveal financial difficulties in one's family. But I think you can deflect the question simply by saying that it is not the custom in your family for the adults to exchange gifts. If you want, you can add that the resources are put into having a nice family gathering instead.<br><br><br><br>
People can ask out of a sort of competitive materialism, but I ask out of general curiosity and also wanting to get ideas for myself on what to get for my own friends and family in future years.
 

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Before Christmas, friends talk about what they want, anticipate, etc., in casual conversation. I don't see anything wrong with following up on the topic or bringing it up around people with whom you are comfortable.<br><br><br><br>
That having been said, if I don't know a person very well, I wouldn't even go so far as to assume that they even celebrate Christmas.
 

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I've never thought about it before, but you made a very good point. I know that I probally got much less then some of my other friends this year, but I am personally content with what I did get. The best present to me was a free ride to FL so that I could visit my dad, and then my dad, in addition to paying for a bunch of food for me and so forth, just got me a ride home and a t-shirt. But it doesn't matter, because this was my first Christmas with my father and his family since I was probally 9 or younger, and what I enjoyed was spending time with my father.<br><br><br><br>
So I guess, If I do get asked what I got for Christmas, I'll say that I got a trip to FL and my time with my dad.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for starting this thread, I'm gonna try to ask people what they did for christmas, or if they had a good christmas or something like that from now on, instead of what they got.
 

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I say, "Get anything nice?" Then they can say, "Oh, the usual," if they want to dodge the question, or tell me, or explain in detail. I don't interact with people I don't know well on a daily basis, cause I work from home, so it isn't much of an issue for me.
 

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You could give an answer like "my family decided not to trade gifts this year. we decided to just spend time with family and focus on the more important things."
 

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I'll ask my close friends what they got, but as far as people I'm not very close to I'll either just ask how the holidays are going for them, sometimes (if I know they celebrate christmas) I'll say something like "So did Santa get you what you wanted?" That way it leaves it open to them to talk about as much or as little about it as they want.
 

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I think it's okay to ask if you know the person well enough to know that it's not going to make them upset. Otherwise, "How was your Christmas/holiday?" is probably better.
 

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I put sometimes because it depends both on the person and my relationship with that person. There are some people who I know usually get interesting gifts from people they know. I'll ask them if they got anything interesting this year.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>asp3</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I put sometimes because it depends both on the person and my relationship with that person. There are some people who I know usually get interesting gifts from people they know. I'll ask them if they got anything interesting this year.</div>
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Same here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/yes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":yes:">
 

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I know some people who are having financial problems, but are very focused on gifts. I don't think I would ask them what they got for Christmas because it might just remind them of what they didn't get.<br><br><br><br>
On the other hand, I don't mind being asked. My family doesn't usually do much in the way of gift exchanges, so I either just explain that or mention one of the little things I received. At work, my answer to this exact question was "I got to spend time with ALL of my nieces and nephews." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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I feel uncomfortable when people ask what I got for Christmas, especially if I have to answer with "gift card" or "cash." Because then they ask for the amount. That's just weird. Don't ask me that.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggiejanie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I feel uncomfortable when people ask what I got for Christmas, especially if I have to answer with "gift card" or "cash." Because then they ask for the amount. That's just weird. Don't ask me that.</div>
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yeah, i get that alot. i feel the same way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thumbsdown.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":down:">
 

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I dont see anything wrong with it..I was just recently asked..Was Santa Good to You? and I Responded Of course and that was that..no specifics..Its not a big deal to me.I dont ask others what they got cause its none of my business and honestly dont really wanna know.
 
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